Veteran of a Thousand Warcraft Wars

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South Park's latest block of 7 episodes kicked off last night with "Make Warcraft Not War," a parable about the dangers of online gaming that could have delighted Brent Bozell as much as it delighted any normal human being. The boys are idly playing "World of Warcraft" when they encounter a hopeless nerd's character, a maxed-out warrior who keeps killing lower-ranked players at random. Cartman convinces the rest of the boys to re-enter the game and hide out in a forest killing boars to raise their levels and take on the nerd. They eventually do it, with some help from the game's creators, and in the process become obese, acne-plagued, no-life gamers.

The "everything in moderation" message rang pretty clear, as did the "hardcore gamers are losers" message. (I assume some hardcore gamers have killed Trey Parker and Matt Stone's characters a few times. Just spitballin'.) But good satire can offend anyone, and the episode has inspired a thread on Ain't It Cool News unironically slamming the episode for… its innacurate use of "Warcraft" designs.

Randy, and Butters couldn't be in the Arathi Highlands at their level and expect to fight anything. It's like a mid-thirties leveled area. And furthermore, they'd have to run there, so they couldn't log back in, in that area, UNLESS they had a Warlock to summon them….

Boars don't group like that, and you won't find that many in the same area anyways. And after a certain level, they will eventually give you ZERO experience points. So they couldn't level up killing Goldshire boars….

YOU CANNOT GIVE SOMEONE A CLOAK YOU'VE ALREADY EQUIPPED ON YOURSELF!!!

You cannot give away items that have already been equipped. So Randy could not have gave away the sword! TOTAL BULLSHIT!

Back in 2004, Kevin Park opined about the politics of video games.

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  1. Suxx0r N00bs!

    No really, I thought that episode was pretty damned funny and I am a occasional gamer myself.

    I expect to see more gaming/tv animation hybrids (I think the term is machinima, correct?). The results are pretty good and once the graphics engine has been created it is pretty easy to be creative with it. The in-game bits look like they may have been done with the actual Blizzard engine.
    The History channel has had a long-time relationship with the gaming community. I remember there was a “Famous Battles” series that used the Rome:Total War engine to good effect.

  2. Holy cow. Talk about missing the point.

    Of course, if somebody spoofed LotR (the books, not the lame-o movies) (yes, I’m that much of a dork) and missed some insignificant details, I’d probably have the same reaction.

    For my part, while watching the episode I wasn’t even sure that World of Warcraft was a real game, much less that the details of said game were accurate.

  3. Computer games are already themselves parodies.

    Flight simulators excepted. There you can engage your childhood desire to fly without freezing your kidneys and having to land to pee, and get a good meal whenever you want just by hitting pause and walking to the kitchen.

    The inability to reach the pole owing to the conflict of spherical and cartesian coordinates is an interesting effect as well. No Admiral Byrd historical flights in flight simulators until they raise the level of math education in the public schools.

  4. remember, someone making fun of what others obsess over: hilarious

    someone making fun of what you yourself obsess over: NOT FUNNY AT ALL!

  5. Brian 24,
    I can’t link to it from my work, but I believe the YouTube hit “The Internet IS for Porn” was done within the World Of Warcraft. MAybe someone else could provide a link.

  6. Time’s up, let’s do this.

    LEEEEEEROOOY

    JEEEEEEEENKINSSSSSSSS

  7. Holy cow. Talk about missing the point.

    All of the posts slamming the “innacurate use of “Warcraft” designs” were made by a single poster, and I believe he was being ironic.

  8. That thread is priceless. There’s nothing better than scorned geeks lashing out.

    ‘BUT AQUAMAN? SHE DOES NOT HAVE GILLS?!?’

    Thread Jack – I just got sent a trailier for some film called ‘Jesus Camp’ in North Dakota. Looks fucking awesome. All these little kids getting brainwashed by Jesus Nuts.

  9. OUCH!
    That stings. Not because I’m a gamer, because gaming is after my time. In my day, home systems sucked hard. The only games worth playing cost a quarter per play. I tossed a semester’s tuition down Tempest my freshman year. I could never get a feel for the modern home-game controllers, so I’m twenty years removed from the gaming world.

    And that’s why this hits a nerve. It is so clear to me that the people who posted those comments are total losers. It’s clear because I’m on the outside looking in. However, I completely relate to the tone. That is exactly the sort of attitude I take when one of my sacred cows is being gored.

    The most difficult part of middle age is coming to grips with the fact that my high school peers were right. Back then I was so delusional I actually believed Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons made me cool. Now I realize how uncool I am. I am older, wiser, and more sophisticated, but I’m still a dork – a middle-aged dork.

    Man, those losers are pathetic. I need a drink, think I’ll crack one of my home-brews.

  10. Actually, most of the hard core WOW players took the episode in the proper light; the humorless reaction cited is not typical.

  11. Least I have chicken.

  12. The only games worth playing cost a quarter per play. I tossed a semester’s tuition down Tempest my freshman year.

    No offence Warren, but I think you might actaully have been a bigger loser.

    WOW and all the other online games are by all accounts, vast, horribly immersive and addictive games. Tempest just plain downright sucked ass.

    Now Smash TV…there was a game to waist your education on.

  13. Accutane anyone ?

  14. Mark VIII,

    I’d buy that for a dollar.

  15. What Larry said.

    At the school where I teach I asked my morning class if anybody saw the SP episode last night and the response was over 90% ‘yes’. I didn’t have to ask how many play the game, I see them in our cafeteria playing on their laptops at all hours of the day. They were still laughing about the episode ten minutes ago…apparently its available on google video today.

    For myself, I prefer eq. But I’m not an addict, I can quit any time….

  16. Bravo to Blizzard for creating a business that entertains several million people (and work for “gold farmers in LDCs.”)

  17. Warren, if it makes you feel any better (or at least younger), I never made it past arcade Tank.

    I guess I thought being an “ELP Freak” made me cool (or at least smarter than the Led Zeppelin freaks), but I’m long past my necessary stage of reassessment over that. I imagine you’ll get past yours too, maybe with a few more drinks! 🙂

  18. I think they deliberately played fast and loose with the rules in WoW to get a rise out of the people who take the game so seriously. For crying out loud, the South Park folks worked hand in hand with Blizzard for ages on this; don’t you think the actual game bigwigs, who would had to have seen and had to approve the script, would have mentioned something otherwise?

  19. Total Carnage! I love it!

  20. Tempest just plain downright sucked ass.

    Not the way I played it. It was a Zen thing. I got into a zone where I could compute the vectors of literally 5,000 objects in real time.

    I think it was the 360-degree flywheel control that did it for me. Mastering the feel of an analog control is what was missing from games that came after.

  21. Mark VIII,

    I loved that game. It used the Robotron twin controllers, so it probably wouldn’t port well to a PC. Dang it.

    “Big Money! Big Prizes! I love it!”

    Warren,

    I liked Tempest. I even still play it occasionally on my computer (I bought an Atari CD with that and several other of the old games on it).

  22. I forgot about Tempest, I’m going to have to find that ROM. Re: track ball games, Centipede ruled too, best color schemes EVER.

  23. Glad to see I’m not the only one who wasted hours and hours playing SmashTV

  24. “I guess I thought being an “ELP Freak” made me cool ”

    You worried you were wrong when “Works” came out, but you were sure after buying “Love Beach.”

  25. If any of you guys want to relive old arcade games then look no futher than:

    http://www.emuasylum.com

    Download MAME and select any Rom you want – I’m currently re-engaging my R-Type skills.

    By the way, as I typed the above, my penis shrank 74%.

  26. Re: Smash TV… It’s available for about $5 through the XBox 360’s Live Arcade service. Works great with the dual-stick 360 controller.

    It hasn’t aged well, I’m afraid.

  27. You worried you were wrong when “Works” came out, but you were sure after buying “Love Beach.”

    LOL! “Works” did give me ruminations as I recall, but I think I was thankfully long gone by that hilariously dreadfullest of career killers known as “Love Beach”!!!

  28. That show last night was AWESOME! The music, the characters, the nerdy middle aged dude flicking a dorito off his shirt, the adults acting like the flash drive was Anduril from LotR.

    And a big warrior shouting “Timmy!”

  29. No game will ever hold a place in my heart like M.U.L.E.

  30. I am furious about this episode — it caused our guild to wipe in MC becuase people were eatching TV instead of tanking healing and banishing

  31. The in-game bits look like they may have been done with the actual Blizzard engine. — mk at October 5, 2006 10:02 AM

    They probably were. There was a “Blizzard” section listed in the credits to the episode, so I figure they were in on it.

    I’m still in the target age and general interest groups for those things, but MMORPGs just have zero appeal to me. Some of my friends play them, but I just don’t see the point. Maybe it’s the monthly fee…

    mjs

  32. MJS:

    These FPS-RPG hybrids really interest me, and I was into Oblivion for awhile. However, I stop short of the Massive Multiplayer versions, for one simple reason: I have a life. With the offline versions, it’s easy to just turn it off and forget about it when you have better shit to do. With these online versions, well, it’s not so simple. Maybe I just fear my own lack of discipline, but I’ve resisted attempts, mostly from my brother who lives on the other end of the continent, to join his WoW fun. Though, I guess, it could be really fun to “hang out” in VR with my bro who I rarely get to see. But I just can’t bring myself to do it.

  33. I turned over Jungle King twice en route to a final score of 248,000 on my first quarter.

    Beat that, geeks.

  34. I got one or two googolplex playing Galaga. Then again, who didn’t?

  35. I could make Pitfall Harry do three jumps in a row over the alligators without even slowing down.

    Boo-yah!

  36. joe, the Activision Pitfall on the Atari 2600?

  37. Fyodor
    Welcome back my friend to the show that never ends…reconnect with your ELP homies here

    http://www.progarchives.com/Progressive_rock_discography_CD.asp?cd_id=1876#reviews

    ?I want to love you like nobody loved you, Get on my stallion and we?ll ride?; ?I?m gonna love you like nobody loved you, Climb on my rocket and we?ll fly?; ?We loved so hard we shook the stars above.?

    Hee hee…

    ;~)

  38. Centipede ruled too, best color schemes EVER.

    Right on. My dad and I can still bond to a couple of quarters in a centipede machine.

  39. PL,

    Yup. You could tell the Activision brand was more high-tech, because the game cartridges had that funny shape.

    Remember when you discovered that Harry could turn around and run through the landscape starting at the end? Wow!

  40. Riiiiiiggghhtt! There were a few Easter Eggs in Pitfall, I seem to recall. I half discovered the one in Adventure, which I was so proud of (this is pre-Internet, after all). Ah, Adventure. A square, some ducks, and an arrow that’s supposed to be a sword.

  41. Eh. My beef was the show didn’t have much meat to it other than the “hey, it’s Warcraft!” schtick. And if you’re going to hang the episode on the shock of recognition like that, you should put in more effort to make it actually sound and feel right. Everything in that episode was right-ish but definitely off in some direction, which is almost worse – they sounded like someone wrote the episode based on a detailed second-hand account of what the game’s like. About the only thing dead on was Cartman’s “pwned!” cry as he finished off the griefer.

    Honestly, this reminds me of nothing so much as William Gibson’s episodes of The X-Files, which sounded like a good idea, but when they aired turned out to *actually be William Gibson stories*, which is to say, they were fantasies based on a limited understanding of 1980s-era computer networks, which felt kinda ridiculous by the time they aired to an audience who actually had personal experience with how the internet worked.

  42. Total noobs. I would wtfbbqpwn everybody on South Park. L2Warcraft!

    Seriously, though, the incorrect details bothered me (Alliance ganking Alliance, killing low-level mobs for XP) but it was still funny, since they were probably making fun of people who would care about the incorrect details as well.

  43. Bozell doesn’t really have a problem with ultra-violent online gaming, as long as the titties being blown up aren’t naked…

  44. I think it’s a way of outing people. If you’re one to complain, then there’s no need to explain…

    I would never let on so easily.

    But I do have to ask…WTF is up with Alliance in WSG. I mean, for chrissakes, a little offense goes a long way. And hello! Ganking the guy in the cloth armor gets you nothing except one lousy HK, how about keeping your eyes on the damned prize! And since when is ‘controlling the midfield’ a strategy? That’s not a strategy, it’s a recipe for l0s3rs!

    Oh and one last thing, in AB, the BS is the most important node. Yes, you can win without it, but it’s rare, and it assumes the hordies suxx0r!

    Show a level 60 night elf rogue some love!

  45. No game will ever hold a place in my heart like M.U.L.E.

    Cha-ching! No shit. I totally forgot about that one, Chris S. Man, those were the days, my Commodore 64, late nights, pizza delivery. I loved M.U.L.E.

  46. I played EQ, EQ2 and SWG for about 4 years. The games are extremely entertaining and addictive. Anyone who’s reminiscing about Centipede or M.U.L.E. really has no idea. Those games were fun, but limited.

    Actually, I never really had a problem with the Uber players. They are usually kids with way too much time on there hands. The people I always wanted to kill (and I’m not alone) were the game developers who constantly changed the rules of the game. It was like some Home Association types gone wild. It was frustrating to spend weeks and months building up something only to have the devs render it useless without warning.

    As for the guy going off on South Park, some people do take it too seriously.

  47. “My beef was the show didn’t have much meat to it other than the “hey, it’s Warcraft!” schtick.”

    Oh, come on! That one “Timmeh!” was worth the price of admission.

  48. Oh, come on! That one “Timmeh!” was worth the price of admission.

    A half hour loop of “Timmeh!” would, imo, be one of the best episodes ever. I am easily amused that way.

  49. I can’t link to it from my work, but I believe the YouTube hit “The Internet IS for Porn” was done within the World Of Warcraft. MAybe someone else could provide a link.

    I just want to state for posterity that “The Internet is for Porn” was part of the Broadway musical “Avenue Q,” a hilarious take on Sesame Street.

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